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    Chapter Master Karak Norn Clansman's Avatar
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    Re: 40k: Descendant Degeneration

    Warhammer 40'000 Experimental Ambient Soundscape by Secularis

    I was humbled and excited to receive an astonishing message from Secularis on Deviantart. He wrote that my Warhammer 40'000 doodles and writings had reawakened his dormant love for Warhammer and 40k, and said that he was inspired to cobble together this experimental ambient soundscape after a night of being enthralled by my work.

    It was fantastic and wholly unexpected to receive such a message, and hear such a gift. Thank you, thank you most kindly Secularis. Check it out on Soundcloud!

    Quote Originally Posted by Secularis
    You are a scribe of the Adeptus Administratum. One of the untold billions of lowly scriveners in service to Holy Terra and the governance of the Imperium. As you toil mindlessly away in a scriptorium, you can hear the tortured screams of one of your clerical brothers in the next room. A mistranslation of a document has made him a target for the accusation of heresy, and now he is being interrogated and tortured by a group of inquisitors. His life is already over. He has already been replaced. Now you must hear his final cries for mercy before being put to flame for his crimes. The Emperor Protects.

    This track was composed with various other ambient tracks layered and mixed to form a composite soundscape. I am not the owner of these assets, and this track is an experiment in sound design and theory. I am not making any profit from this track.
    - - -



    No Railings

    In a decrepit age of darkness, man must watch his every step.

    Every day across a million worlds and uncounted voidholms, the feet of men, women and children must tread with care, lest they be swallowed up by the abysm. A clumsy motion may throw you off balance and send you tumbling down a precipice. A slippery patch may slide you over the edge. A drunken stumble, a moment's distraction or a playful hop may greet you with a shrieking fall. A sudden push, a nasty elbow or a treacherous leg is all it takes to trip you up one last time. Sometimes, a strong wind or the heavy rumble of nearby machinery, explosions or hivequakes may catch you off guard and cast you unto death far below.

    To walk among the creations of mankind in the grim darkness of the far future is oft to expose your side to a gaping pit, hungry for your fall. Indeed, bodily exhaustion, poor lumination or an absentminded moment may be all it takes to doom you in the cities and void installations of the Imperium of Man, for almost everywhere there is a widespread lack of railings and fences on gangways, rooftops and bridges among the star-spanning domains of the Emperor of Earth.

    Around heights, the difference between life and death is the blink of an eye. A sudden drop may occur in an instant, unforeseen and unwarned a mere second ago. Crippling accidents and deadly crashes are the matter of a single unsure step, of but one more narrow passageway, or of just yet another section oframshackle catwalk sagging at a bad angle.

    Day in and day out across an uncaring galaxy, trillions of humans set foot on walkways without railings. Many work their entire shift but inches away from a horrific fall, or live and sleep at the edge of manmade precipices. Habit is a strong force in the minds of men, for few ever pay the constant danger much heed. They have long since become aware of it without thinking, and have learnt to move about so as to avoid the sheer drop, their instincts serving them well hour after hour, year after year as they live out their harsh and thankless lives. How many steps have not their feet taken at the very edges of pits like these, without ever faltering? How many dangerous climbs haven't they undertaken without harm?

    Yet accidents may catch the best wrong-footed, and even the sharpest and most alert people are not immune to falling. Among plebeians in the Imperium, it seems that everyone knows of someone who didn't mean to step over the edge, but still crashed fatally one day. It has always been that way, an inevitable part of life for generations beyond counting. That's just how things are.

    There are many reasons behind the lack and even removal of safety railings across the vast Imperium of Man. Oftentimes, the ravenous demands of total war will see labourers and lay techmen at the homefront scavenge railings and fences for their precious metal. It is likewise common for calculating planners to reduce construction costs by doing without superfluous railings. Sometimes, the inclusion of fences for utilitarian and commoner structures did not even occur to the architects in the first place, the very concept simply being alien to them and their schooling and traditions.

    Yet some of the most abundant reasons for the usual scarcity of railings among human cities and voidholms revolve around beliefs and ideas, for is it not right and proper for pious subjects of the Imperator of Holy Terra to trust in their deity to protect them? Is it not up to the Emperor to judge you safe from falling, instead of an unclean railing? Is it not virtuous to encourage alertness among the masses, especially so among the dubious lower orders? Is it not healthy eugenics for the whole species if lesser members of mankind disappear from the gene pool by their own weak failings?

    For man was not meant to cower in fear of danger, but to stride boldly into volatile chance and dare the risks to bring him low. Man was not meant for cowardice, but for daring and self-sacrifice. Man was meant to rely on himself, and ever be ready to cast himself into the jaws of death for the higher cause. Would not the installation of unnecessary fences send contrary signals to the people? Would it not foster wretched poltroons and shirkers who everywhere imagined that they needed safety measures to dare venture forth? Would it not be better to condition men, women and children to constant danger and hardship, and breed a strong humanity?

    A parable of Old Earth told of salt improving the taste of meat, while too much salt ruins the meat. Thus it is with humans, for suffering improves character, yet too much suffering ruins character, claimed the ancient allegory. The Imperium of Man utterly rejects that notion, for it operates instead on principles of overwhelming cruelty, increased input of resources, indifference to casualties, inviting hardship and of pushing mankind to the breaking point and beyond. Let those who break, break. The most ardent and true servants of His Divine Majesty will endure by the strength of their faith and by His saving grace, for the survival of deviants and weaklings is not desirable in any case. Those found lacking will anyhow make for passable Servitors or corpse starch.

    Thus it is that the Imperium will not suffer cravens who are afraid of heights. Man shall fear the God-Emperor alone and nothing more. And so billions upon billions of humble Imperial subjects across the Milky Way galaxy will include a line in their daily prayers, asking for their saviour and lord to preserve them, their kin and their offspring from the fall, the sudden drop, the yawning pit. They would never gather the bravery to ask their superiors for material safety structures, for they know well the abominable fate of those who dare advice their betters and masters without having been ordered to do so.

    Forget the promises of material improvement, for they were nought but the heresies of sinful ancestors who wallowed in rotten luxury and hubris. Forget their lies of science and progress, for we are much wiser now. Forget their raising of lowly man onto a pedestal, for man's true purpose in life has always been to toil, pray and die, and nothing more.

    No mercy. No remorse. No railings.

    And so mankind in the Age of Imperium trust in the Emperor to keep them safe instead of base, worldly fences. Every step may challenge death. And all is well in the Imperium.

    It is the fortyfirst millennium, and there is nothing in sight to stop the fall of man.

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